Seoul Posts Its Own Radar Row Clip, Urges Tokyo to Apologise for 'Warping Facts'
17:32 04.01.2019(updated 17:33 04.01.2019)
In late 2018, Tokyo released footage in a bid confirm its claim that a South Korean warship had allegedly locked its fire-control radar on a Japanese maritime patrol aircraft off the Noto Peninsula on 20 December.
The South Korean Ministry of Defence has posted its own video on YouTube to reject Japan's allegations over the current military radar-related spat between the two immediate neighbours.
Ministry's spokeswoman Choi Hyun-soo pointed out that the clip was released in order to "provide accurate facts, after distorted facts have been disseminated to Internet users across the globe through Japan's clip unilaterally published in Japanese and English".
"We once again say that Japan must cease actions that warp the facts and apologise for carrying out a low-altitude flight toward our warship that was on a humanitarian rescue operation," Choi stressed.
In the video, the ministry reiterated that one of its Gwanggaeto the Great-class destroyers did not target a Japense P-1 Maritime Self-Defence Force's plane, and that the warship used an optical camera while being on a humanitarian mission to rescue a North Korean boat in distress in international waters of the East Sea.
The ministry also reiterated that the Japanese warplane was flying at low altitude, which it claimed was "threatening" to the South Korean warship.
The footage comes about a week after the Japanese Defence Ministry released a video of its own which it said proves that the South Korean destroyer repeatedly locked a targeting radar on its aircraft inside Japan's exclusive economic waters off the Noto Peninsula on 20 December.
The clip, in particular, contained voices of Japanese crewmembers asking the destroyer's crew in English for clarification, to no avail.
Choi said at the time that "the video material made public by Japan contains only footage of the Japanese patrol plane circling above the surface of the sea and the [audio] conversation between the pilots and it cannot by common sense be regarded as objective evidence supporting the Japanese claims".
Defence Minister Takeshi Iwaya, for his part, stressed that the video was released to let people in Japan and beyond know that the Japanese Self-Defence Force operated appropriately.
"It is most important that an incident like this should never be repeated between Japan and South Korea," Iwaya underscored, voicing hope that the two countries will resolve "difficult issues" and move to "mutual understanding and exchange".
The past few years have seen a deterioration in Seoul-Tokyo ties, which were specifically tarnished by compensation issues related to the sexual abuse of "comfort women" and Korean forced labourers during Japan's colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula between 1910 and 1945.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|